tv Nightly Business Report PBS January 15, 2018 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
>> announcer: this is "nightly busi good evening, everyone, and welcome to this special edition of "nightly business r i' tyler mathisen. >> and i'm sue herera. tonight, we are taking a look at americ entrepreneurship. big dreams often start in small packages with a single bright idea. >> and that bright idea, along with hard wo can turn into a small business. >> and with a little luck, that small business can one day make you begin with one man's bright idea. ever find yourself wondering how much your medicine it actually cost at the pharmacy or tried to discus in front
of other customers while you're there? only 1% of pharmaceuticals business is conducted online. one entrepreneur got the bright idea to relieve some of the pain points with a digital full . >> reporter: when eric went to his drugstore to pick up a prescription medicatio in january of 2015, his headache was just beginning. he waited in line nearly an hour before speaking to a pharmacist. >> he said, i'm so sorry, we're out of stock of z-pack. i'm thinking, this is january, it's the only thing that pharmacies should have. i can't believe this is an experience that exists on every street corner in america. >> reporte w42 percent of respo survey said their pharmacy was out of stock at least once, causing them to make a return
trip. eric came up with a concept for an online pharmacy. he refined it for more than a year with an old friend, pharmacist sonia patel. >> most pharmacy systems are built on technology that was in use 20 years ago. it didn't work for the pharmacist, didn't work for the consumer, didn't work for the doctors or insurers. >> reporter: they found health care players needed better communication tools, that pharmacies have to improve inventory systems, and that customers wa trans pricing. aimi for solutions, they opened capsule in the spring of 2016. available only in new york city, customers can order online or ask their doctors to do it for them. the company says tens of thousands of people and thousands of physicians are using capsule. like other pharmacies, capsule negotiates prices with wholesalers and takes a cut from retail sales. capsule does not discuss whether
it's profitable just yet. customers can pick up in person in manhattan but most opt for free delivery. a team of 60 couriers, staff employees often braving the element, deliver anywhere in new york's five boroughs. >> business opportunities are huge. >> reporte dr. jeffrey dobrow, chief medical officer at one medical, isn't just telling his patients to shop around for medications these days. he's doing it himself, because he's finding better prices online for his own medications, sometimes less than half the price his pharmacy benefits manager or pbm gets at cvs. >> two out of five were wildly mispriced. i just cannot imagine what the average consumer has to deal with. >> reporter: why the difference? >> what the independents do is try to find the cheapest price they can across the market for each individual medication. the pbms are looking at a bundle of medications. it may be several thousand medicine. for the insurance company, the bundle is less expensive. but for an individual consumer,
one particular drug may end up being much more expensive. >> reporter: capsule alerts customers when it can beat their insurance company's price. but the company prefers not to be called an independent pharmacy. it has big plans. >> we will absolutely expand the business nationally and internationall over time. we think the business works everywhere. >> reporte confidenc that comes from experiences like the one sonia patel had, texting with a customer only weeks after capsule opened. >> she said, hey, sonia, can i take iron supplements while i'm pregnant? and then there was this dot dot dot, by the way, is it weird you're the first person i'm telling i'm pregnant, my husband doesn't even know yet. we had this amazing moment of, wow, we built expe that people have an incredible . >> pharmacists have ranked high in trust, but capsule is hoping
to help the health care players work better together. how come it's not easy to find you if you call 911 on a cellphone? a dangerous fact, if you consider 70% of the roughly 240 million 911 calls we make each year come from cellphones. that's why two young entrepreneurs in new york city are business >> where you're saying you're at and where the phone shows you're at is five miles apart. >> reporter: it's a problem that's dogged 911 operators. built in the 1960s, 911 works well with landline phones. but call on a cellphone and 911 gets only an approximate location. often using nearby cell towers. even if the call is made at a 911 call center. >> roughly 4,000 meters away from where we're actually at. >> reporte that's why joe
thomas' staff in delaware is testing rapid sos. software allowing the existing 911 system to read more data coming from smartphones. >> it pinpoints it right on top of the building where we're located. >> reporter: michael martin got the idea after he felt like he had been followed home in new york city one night back in 2012. >> 911 call takers are doing heroic work in light of that challenge. but we're giving them basically no data to manage those calls. >> repor he teamed with nicholas horlick who volunteered taking calls on an emergency hotline during college. >> it was the same type of problem of, someone's calling and they're in distress and no idea where they are. >> reporter: so they co-founded rapid sos. but perhaps more important than their tech know-how was the four years they spent taking input of the 6,500 911 call centers.
they released a free app. one man got lost when he hiked in the blue ridge mountains. >> your mind goes into frantic mode. >> rep he tapped the haven app on his phone. >> operators told me to stay right where i was and a park ranger would be there in 15 minutes. and they were. >> reporter: almost 20% of the nation's 911 call centers are using rapid sos. it may cover most of the country by year's end. for some, it can't happen soon enough. in 2014, an fcc study said fixing 911 location issues could save more than 10,000 lives a year. >> congress talked about it but there hasn't been any legislation, let alone any passage of something that would make a difference. >> rep tom wheeler is one of three f fcc chairman who have invested in rapid sos. >> they have built a platform that can be applicable in
multiple kinds of situations, not just 911 calls. >> reporter: those situations, upgrades to home security, car monitors like on star, and wearable health devices, are where rapid sos hopes to make money. >> this screen will have health information, heart rate, blood pressure. if it's coming from a connected car, now it's a picture of the car, the impact, how many people were in the vehicle, where airbags depl roll the cost, 3 to $10 per month. it could be a small price to pay. >> the enormity of what we're working on here is what affects everybody on the team. >> this technology will have the power to save a lot of lives. >> reporter: one interesting addition, if the phone has a camera it can put out a video to first responders, givingn them a chance to see what they're getting into before they
arrive onsite. if you're using an old school but still fashionable wrist watch, you might appreciate the handiwork of a philadelphia entrepreneur who got the bright idea to design a timepiece built with natural materials, harkening back to a simpler time i >> reporter: if you make and sell wrist watches these days, you have to compete with phones, fitbits, smartwatches. it better be good and it ought to be different. lorenzo bufa's flexible wooden watch band, now, that is different. >> my personal interest in material development led to world's first soft and flexible wooden watch band. >> reporter: wooden accessories were trending in 2012. but bufa says wood watches then weren't up to snuff. his senior project at philadelphia university's school
of the arts led him down a twisted path, iteration after iteration, until he set on wood veneer backed by leather. he began to contact design blogs and magazines about a student who had made something he thought they see. the watch got some press, and manufacturers as far away as china began to contact him. >> the gumption you need as an entrepreneur, no shame. >> reporter: his moxie and passion for natural materials convinced bufa to start the analog watch company. the thing is, his watches aren't analog. >> we actually use quartz movements which are battery powered. a conventional analog would be a mechanical watch. but we're at a lower price point. >> reporte his wood watches sell for $150. that tick tick tick movement is a quartz movement instead of a smooth sweep. >> analog references are desired to be focused on the simpler
things. our goal obviously is to inspire people and to add a little bit . >> reporter: in 2013, bufa got hundreds of preorders on kickstarter, raising $75,000. at the time kickstarter had modern art.th new york's mus buyers at the museum's gift shop placed analog's first wholesale order. today the business is about 60% online retail and 40% wholesale, mostly museum shops across the country. >> they appreciate the ingenuity that goes into the design process. >> rep in 2015, analog put a new material on display, marble, as well as a line of classics with watch faces made of either wood or marble. the mid-century aesthetic attracted orders from new york's guggenheim museum. >> i barely have to sell these, the staff barely has to sell them, because people recognize them for what they are. we have to stay connected to the
art in our collection or of course the actual building whic itself. >> reporter: that vision belonged to architect frank lloyd wright who famously connected his work to its natural surroundings. his circular design and use of light both inspired by nature turned museum architecture inside out. nature inspires bufa's work too. there are wooden sunglasses now and a botanist collection of jewelry featuring real flowers encased in resin. perhaps bufa's time is yet to come. >> we're really creating conversation pieces or what some of our museums call wearable works of art. >> for his next trick, bufa is working on a new product using cork. ever since price club introduced consume to the idea of stocking up and saving, in the 1970s, we've been snapping up boat-size packages. now the biggest of the club
stores do $200 billion of business each year. one new jersey entrepreneur got the idea to put bulk discoun. >> reporter: it sounds to storybook. starting a company in your parents' garage. >> the computer was right here. there was still a car on that side. man, it sure isn't sexy when you're sitting here and not getting an order on a single day. >> repor chei wong and his team of went from the garage to a $100 million a year business, boxed, selling bulk-sized snacks, food, paper towels, toilet paper, costco and sam's club fare, online. >> the garage can only fit like 200 items. >> reporter: just up the road from his parents' home, the newly automated new jersey warehouse can ship tens of thousands of items in a day. there are also fulfillment centers in las vegas, dallas,
and atlanta. wong got the idea while he was in law school, living in new york city, where he didn't have access to the bulk discounts his parents grew to depend on in the suburbs. >> we just didn't have the time, the patience, or frankly, living in a city, the car to get up to the price club or to costco or sam's club anymore. we thought, how many millions of othe >> reporter: wong and his team wanted a mobile solution, an app. mobile is part of their dna, having sold their mobile video game studio, astro ape, to zynga. they went after retail. it was risky. consumers were shopping on phones in 2013. most of their buying was done on computers. >> over the last four years it's become mainstream. that's in 48 months, the consumer mindset has shifted in >> lunchtime is coming. >> reporter: laura has been using boxed for more than three
years. >> i always joke with people that i don't leave the house unless i have to. boxed has really helped me be home with the children and doing things i want to do as opposed to things i have to do. >> reporter: boxed has no membership fees, competitive pricing, and free shipping on orders of $49 or more. wong targeted busy individuals. but in terms of dollars, its biggest customers are other businesses. that caught us by surprise, how big b2b is for us. >> reporter: perhaps another surprise, no one lost a job when the new jersey warehouse turned on its automated system this summer. eigh months in the making, costing millions, it's got a four-story automated sorting system and nearly three miles of track. boxed trained the same employees who pushed carts and filled orders by hand to run its new system. >> it was about actually preparing them for the future, where all jobs in fulfillment centers, and maybe even a lot of
retail jobs, will look like what you're looking at behind us. it took a lot of folks getting out of their comfort zone, to say, hey, i don't even have a college education and you're asking me to troubleshoot robotics? this for . work/life balance. >> we would love >> reporter: boxed is helping to pay for employee weddings and their childrens' college education. >> the last thing i want on my tombstone, here lies chei wong. ahead, why some older americans ma small businesses are often considered the backbone of the economy. they're job creators and
innovators. but many are trying to overcome a major obstacle -- finding skilled labor. kate rogers has >> reporter: for denise, the biggest challenge in running her construction management firm is simply finding the right people for the job. her busi is a second generation family owned company with 12 to 15 year-round employees. but depending o the size of the project she's working on, she can need more than 100 subcontracto at a time. and that's when things get complicated. >> they're younger, not as trained, not as seasoned as previously. and it's also a career path that's not glamorous. it valley software, it's not facebook. you work hard but you get paid well. it's a hard sell. not an impossible sell. >> reporter: she's not alone in struggling with the workplace
skilled labor has become a top issue for main street, behind taxes and government regulations. near in denver it's an extremely tight labor market with unemployment at just over 2 p . >> this is good news, that companies are looking to hire. but it's a real struggle for them sometimes. it's a particular problem for smaller companies that don't have ts that large companies do. >> reporter: west of denver, in evergreen, colorado, tony employs seven full-time workers at his bike shop. he knows those with particular skill sets, including his top two mechanics, would be nearly impossible to replace. >> as it stands today, with the labor market being what it is and how competitive it is, in the front range, it would be very difficult for us to find a replacement for somebody with that level of experience. >> reporter: so he, like burgess, works to offer competitive benefits like health care stipend, paid time off, and flexibility in scheduling to
hang onto the good workers both small businesses have. >> with the cycling industry being what it is, there are very few people making six figures plus. so our ability to be able to retain employees has to come from somewhere outside of just the dollar figure that they're making. that ability to hold on to their enjoyment and working in the bike shop is very key. >> reporter: for "nightly busine. sometimes business opportunities come later in life. and a growing number of older americans are able to do what they love, chase their passion, and run a successful business. kate rogers is back. this time the st. >> reporter: brian kravitz began fixing typewriters in the 1970s and continued until computers came on the scene. but much to his delight and surprise, typewriters are back
in vogue and kravitz is in business for himself. >> i feel good, i get up every day. i'm not going to sit around. what am i going to do, go to the golf course? no, not me. i want to do things. >> reporter: he launched his business in 2015, fixing and selling machines that date back to the 1920s. kravitz worked for years in marketing and direct mail and said his experience in the workforce has helped him with his latest venture. >> i'm much more aware because i've had so many more experiences in being in business and doing things with people. >> reporter: while millenial entrepreneurs l mark zuckerberg may be grabbing headlines, 2015 data from the kaufman foundation found baby boomers were twice as likely as millenials to launch their own businesses. ex say the rise in entrepreneur is a byproduct of the financial crisis that decimated the retirement savings of many, and in part the desire to remain active.
>> most older people approaching the traditional retirement age are actually looking to stay active beyond 65. they miss the social aspect of work. they miss the purpose of work. and work is an important emotional contributio to people's sense of identity. and i don't think that that, you know disappears just because you hit a particular chronologicaage. >> reporter: darryl jennings launched his business in 2013 co-owners, making hue ployees ing cases for guitars. >> the biggest challenge is the fact that you're not going to make money for quite a while. if you start a business, it always takes more money than you think it will. it takes more time than you think it will. >> reporter: but he has only one regret. >> i wish i had done it sooner. >> reporter: for "nightly busi.
coming up, how one entrepreneur turne his love of flowers and fruit into a mu. some of you may have at some point sent an edible arrangement as a gift or maybe you even received one. i sat down with the founder of the company to hear how his strong work ethic at an early age led him to create a half .illion dollar business selling >> it's all in the twirl here. >> you're putting a little bit of a finish on it. >> reporter: entrepreneur tariq fareed has a reason to celebrate. >> cheers. >> cheers. >> reporter: his company, edible arrangements, has mushroomed into an interna sensation. >> how much total revenue? >> a little over $600 million.
>> reporter: it's a success that stems from humble beginnings. at 12 years old, tariq and his family came to the united states from pakistan, settling in 1981 in west haven, connecticut. he and his siblings had to get business, fast, because money was tight. >> my mother kicked us out of bed and said, go work hard. >> tell us about your earliest days as an entrepreneur. >> a lady living down the street from me, i would cut her grass and help her with the lawn. she said, honey, if you keep working this hard, you'll be a millionaire by 35. i liked the ring of that. >> reporter: within a year he took a job with a local norse where he leveraged the importance o servi and creative design. when an opportunity arose to buy a defunct floral shop in east haven, connecticut, tariq moved past. with $6,000 borrowed from his father's boss, he became the owner of fareed's flowers. >> who gave you the lease on the shop? who is going to sign a lease with a 17-year-old?
>> i don't think he knew the 17-year-old would be actually runng it. >> repor but he did run it. dividing his time between the shop and school. the business grew into three local locations. more than a decade later, in 1999, the seed that really took root was his idea, one he had been toying with for a couple of years. sell fruit arrangements that looked like flowers. >> i used to call that a wow, that when a person receives it, when it arrives at the house, the first thing out of their mouths should be, wow. you know, th. >> my favorite thing about edible is we're an experienced company. >> r somia fareed, tariq's daughter, is the special projects manager at edible arrangements' headquarters at wallingford, connecticut. >> i've been in the stores since i was a kid. i used to hang out there after school. i started taking orders when i was 12 years old. >> reporter: still, it wasn't easy for tariq to transition from flowers to fruit. >> i would say, can you make me a food safe
floral container? they would be like, get out of here, what are you talking about, why would we do that? we put flowers in it. >> reporter: he had to create the company's entire supply chain from scratch. everything from child-safe skewers to securing what he says is the world's freshest fruit. by 2000, the business was building real traction, and tariq began getting requests to franchise the business. >> somebody saw one and called from atlanta and said, i want to open one in atlanta. someone from new jersey called and said, hey, i just saw this, can i buy one for new jersey. and next thing i know, i was in north ridge, california, opening the eighth store. >> how many times stores today? >> 1,300. >> reporter: t edible arrangements is available in nine countries. about 60% of orders come in online. but they're fulfilled by local shops. for the fareeds, it's been a fruitful journey and one that continues to blossom. >> there's a lot that goes into
it that we've spent the last 18 years perfecting. >> reporter: tariq fareed. from immigrant to american dream. getting rich the old fashioned way. slowly. >> edible arrangements fruit bouquets range from price from $40 to upwards of $1,000 for more extravagant custom displays. the company is focusing its product lineup to include parfaits and smoothies in a push to drive brick and mortar sales. >> sounds delicious. >> very good. >> thanks so much for watching this special edition of "nightly sue herera. >> i thanks from me as well. se
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